June 27, 2007

Lost songs: Adam Ant's Wonderful

In 1995, a good 12 years after his last decent hit, Adam Ant made a return to pop with a beautiful song called Wonderful. I've never really tired of this song over the years - I love how pure the vocal is on much of it (mixed with his more classic yelpy voice). It's such a sweet track and yet kind of dysfunctional, with references to domestic violence and shrink-speak ("tired of packaging the anger").

While Adam was known more for his face, fashion sense, humor and cocky sexuality - is that enough attributes? - he actually has a fantastic singing voice that he could do almost anything with. At about 3:20 on the Wonderful MP3 (below), the song starts to ramp up into layers of prettiness - the deep vocals on the "Did I tell you you're wonderful?" bit at 3:38 are swoon inducing.

The album of the same name is also quite good and can be bought for a song on Amazon Marketplace UK and US. You can get the it on iTunes as well. If you want just a track or two, I also recommend the epic power ballad Angel.

Adam, who is now 53 years old (!), has not recorded in years, which is sad. His biography, Stand And Deliver, is out in paperback on September 7 in the UK. Around the same date last fall, Adam signed the hardcover in London and here are some pics. He looked pretty good! His album Friend Or Foe beats down most of the pop/indie pop music being produced today. Sometimes I get snotty with myself and think, "Today kids have Fall Out Boy..we had Adam And The Ants."

...and of course, Adam has a myspace


Anonymous said...

I met Adam (and Marco) in 1995 (in the HMV Megastore in Manchester, UK) after they played a few (acoustic) tracks from the "Wonderful" album.

The vocal performance of "Alien" with just Marco on guitar really was a heart-stopping moment.

I totally agree with your comments about Adam being able to do near-anything with his voice. "Wonderful" is certainly one of those tracks that never has a "best before" date (unlike most of today's so-called artist offerings).

To be fair, Adam's song-writing just shows how poor the (manufactured) pop of today has become.

For UK residents looking for background on Adam's achievements to date, maybe you will be as lucky as I was last week when the recently re-issued "Best Of" CD/DVD compilation was spotted in Saisbury's for £3.99!

Thanks for mentioning the "Friend or Foe" album; this contains one of my, if not my primary, favourite Adam track, "Desperate But Not Serious". For another dip-your-ear-in introduction to Ant/Pirroni I also recommend the "Vive Le Rock" album.

PS. Marco has stated in a recent televised interview (here in the UK) that he & Adam *will* write again. “Wonderful” indeed! 


(Still hoping the "Digital Tenderness" promo video compilation will see the light of day).

countpopula said...

Wasn't there some sort of fracas a couple years back involving Ant with a gun and some unfortunate psychiatric issues? People seemed to lose hope that he'd ever return. It would be nice to see and hear him again, as he is a missed presence.

D'luv said...

This was one of the songs -- along with R.E.M.'s "Strange Currencies," Human League's "Tell Me When" and Nicki French's "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" -- that always remind me of the end of my first year away at college. Very bittersweet time.

Remember when Adam had another semi-comeback hit before this, in 1990, with "Room At The Top"? That one actually went Top 20 here!

Jason said...

Yeah, you'd probably like "Room At The Top"... It was produced by David Z.

Anonymous said...

I've always loved 'Wonderful' - a friend of mine developed a late obsession with Adam around 1995 and we used to swoon at his best of videos, then this came out and is definitely a bit of a lost classic!

Camera Shy x